Knee Injury Opens Eyes to Orthopedic Options

“The whole process with CentraCare exceeded my expectations and I would definitely recommend others to them as they were recommended to me.”

LaRae and family at Grand CanyonIn February 2023, LeRae Rengel of Clear Lake slipped on the ice and suffered a knee injury — a severed anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and multiple tears in her meniscus.

“I originally went to an orthopedic clinic I’d previously been a patient at but felt like I needed a second opinion,” said Rengel. “A friend mentioned Dr. Kyle Martin, from CentraCare M Physicians Orthopedics, was a surgeon for the St. Cloud State hockey athletes. He said, he was amazing and ‘we trust him, we think you’ll trust him, too.’”

“I scheduled an appointment with him, and his bedside manner was fantastic and I left feeling more comfortable with the outcome/results. He was very honest and compassionate with the situation I was in. He didn’t sugarcoat things or tell me what I should do. He actually took the time to go over all of the options with me,” shared Rengel. Rengel and Dr. Martin together decided an outpatient surgery to reconstruct her ACL could help her reduce pain and increase her mobility. Rengel had her surgery in April 2023.

“I didn’t even realize CentraCare had a surgery center at the Plaza. I saw the doctor there and had my outpatient surgery there as well. Going into surgery I was very nervous and anxious, but the surgical nursing staff was awesome, and they too were very compassionate and all about making me feel comfortable!” said Rengel.

LaRae and family
June 16, 2023, was the first day LeRae took steps without a crutch.

After her surgery, Rengel participated in physical therapy in south St. Cloud at CentraCare – Southway. “I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am without my physical therapist, Derek. He was able to push me in the right direction I needed to go to be successful in the PT process. He is very passionate and knowledgeable in his role. When you see someone several times a week, you get to know a lot about them and they get to know a lot about you too. He definitely is the reason I am doing so well post-surgery; I owe it all to him! This has been a true partnership to my success to getting back to normal since my injury.”

“I thought I was too young for this type of injury,” says Rengel. “But truly and honestly, I was blessed with a really good team at CentraCare. From the doctors to the therapists and even the front desk staff. They have all done an amazing job and clearly, they are there to make the experience a good one for the patients. Kudos to everyone! The whole process with CentraCare exceeded my expectations and I would definitely recommend others to them as they were recommended to me.”

QR CodeFootnote: ACL tears are common and can lead to instability, dysfunction, pain and arthritis. Surgical reconstruction is often performed to restore stability and function to the knee.

Watch “A ‘Life Changing Beer’ Leads to an Exploration of AI in Medicine” TEDx talk to learn how Dr. Martin has used AI-driven patient-specific outcome prediction tools to help patients with ACL tears.